Pettitte: ‘I wasn’t real happy with the contract’

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This probably comes as little surprise to Yankee fans, but Andy Pettitte, in an interview with the L.A. Times today expressed his displeasure with the way his off-season negotiations with the Yankees ended up last winter. The veteran lefty made it clear that he wanted to return to the Yanks, but Brian Cashman and the New York brass, concerned about Pettitte’s shoulder strength, offered him a low base salary with high incentives. Although Pettitte stands to earn nearly $10 million total this year, he felt slighted by the Yanks over the winter. He is, however, over it. “I think everybody knows I wasn’t real happy with the contract,” Pettitte said. “But I wanted to take it and come back here and have a chance to do this. It’s nice to have things work out the way you think they’re going to work out. This is what I was kind of hoping for.”

The Yankees and Pettitte will probably engage in a similar dance this off-season but with a few different assumptions. Pettitte has certainly earned himself a higher base salary for 2010, and I’m sure the Yankees will keep the door open for Number 46 if he wants to return. I wonder, though, if Pettitte might retire if the Yankees win the World Series. Five rings fills up a hand.

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  • Accent Shallow

    I’d love to have Andy back as long as he can pitch and they have space for him, and it sure looks like that will be the case in 2010.

    He’s made noise about retiring for years, but I’ll believe it when I see the press conference.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    I definitely think he’ll retire if they win the WS. I could be wrong, obviously, but that’s my gut feeling.

    If he doesn’t, I could see them offering him one year, $10-12MM base, with a chance to kick it up to ~$15MM w/incentives.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Nah, I think he’s adopted his old buddy Roger Clemens’ contract negotiation strategy for aging pitchers. Keep leaning toward retirement until they add some $$ to the deal, then announce you’re coming back in February.

      • Ed

        It’s not working well for him. The first time he did it he declined a $16 million player option then signed a few weeks later for the same value.

        Last year they offered $10 million and he turned that down and ended up with far less guaranteed, although with the chance of up to $12 million.

        Besides, he’s consistently making the #1 worst move he could make – announcing that he will not consider playing for another team, thereby removing all incentive for the Yankees to make him a fair market offer.

        The guy certainly can pitch, but he’s an idiot at negotiations.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    I posted this over at TYU this morning, but watching the post game I was amazed at how veteran pitchers like AJ and CC said they leaned on Andy for guidance this postseason. I certainly hope they bring him back, I’m still not sure Hughes/Joba will be ready. Wang is a total wild card, if they even bring him back at all it will likely be a minor league deal.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      When I think about 2010, I don’t even consider Chien-Ming Wang at this point. Whatever he gives them is a bonus. I do think that this Wang-less reality dictates a need for Andy Pettitte in 2010 though. Lackey is going to price himself out of New York, and the Yanks aren’t about to commit another $18 million per over five years for another starting pitcher.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        I honestly think we’re going to have a very quiet off season. Bring back Damon+Andy for a year or two, and that’s about it.

        If the King Felix talks get serious, then I can see us in the mix, but not with much else. Maybe there’s something out there I’m missing, but I don’t see us doing much.

        • jim p

          I’m guessing a trade for an outfielder as one possibility, acquiring some more bullpen definitely. Outside of that…

      • pollo

        We need to give Ben Sheets money before Boston does.

        • Accent Shallow

          I think he’s going to Tejas.

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

            With Lackey? Watch out for Texas next year.

            • Accent Shallow

              He was going to Tejas for this year before he got hurt.

              http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=3886732

            • Accent Shallow

              But yeah, that could be a scary rotation if both those guys stay healthy, and Feliz and Holland come on.

              Of course, young pitching will break your heart. Ref: v.2008 Hughes and Kennedy, and v.2009 Joba

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              I’m betting the Mets overpay for Lackey.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                That.

                Lackey and Figgins both have New York Mets overpaid veteran contracts written all over them.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  I don’t think they’ll go for Figgins. I think they realize that they need at least some power in that lineup. Maybe they (foolishly?) go to Abreu for 2/20 or maybe go all in for Holliday.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Abreu’s not leaving SoCal.

                  Holliday makes sense for them, but he doesn’t want to play in Death Valley East and I don’t think the Wilpons have enough MadoffBucks left in the bank account to outbid the real financial heavies for Holliday.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  But, realistically, who are they going to have to outbid? The Yankees will most likely not be in too deep for Holliday, Boston will probably stick with Bay, the Dodgers are full (unless Manny opts out, which I doubt), as are the Phils. The Angels could possibly come in to play, if they let Abreu go (which, as you said is unlikely*), but I’d say the Mets may be the only ones in on it.

                  *How high will California (fuck it, I’m calling them the California Angels) go for Abreu? I don’t think they’d go much higher than 2/20. I’d say 2/24 at the absolute most.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Teams possibly willing to get into the 5/100 stratosphere for Holliday:

                  Cardinals
                  Giants
                  Braves
                  Angels
                  Cubs

                • Andy

                  Why, because the Yanks don’t have the money? Cashman is going to dip into the market again, and I like Lackey over Holliday.

                • Tom Zig

                  We just went out and spent $400+ million last offseason. What more do you want?

                  Lackey? I say pass unless he’ll take a 3 year deal, which he won’t.

                  Holliday? I say pass unless he’ll take a 4 year deal, which he won’t.

                  Figgins? Where do we put him? He hasn’t played LF in years and doesn’t hit for nearly enough power to justify a corner spot, which he may or may not be able to play. Pass

  • Mike bk

    i think next year is CC/AJ/Andy/Joba/Phil with Gaudin as the fill-in/swing starter for when phil pushes up on his innings limit. they have to handle the innings limit thing better with him than they did with Joba. this will sound like a slight to joba, but i mean more in praise of phil that i think he can mentally adjust to being skipped better so they dont have a bunch of 3 inning outings to control the innings.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Agreed.

      You left out IPK, though.

  • Dela G

    They should give him the wakefield treatment

    a recurring mutual option deal that keeps on rolling until he wants to retire

    give him 7 million + 5 million incentives every year until he decides to hang em up

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I think he’ll want at least $10MM base after this season.

      • Mike Pop

        What the fuck do you know?

        Shutup man.

        • Dela G

          hey man, no need to hate on him sharing his opinion

          • Mike Pop

            Hah. I was just messing around with my boy.

            Came off a bit too hard.

            • Dela G

              haha its aight, we all good :)

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Don’t worry, Dela. He’s just mad that I didn’t call his mom back after taking her to a nice seafood dinner.

            • Dela G

              well its hard to call back when the sushi was smelly…

              ;)

            • Mike Pop

              Hey!

              Let’s leave the mothers out of this.

              • Tank Foster

                So little Johnny walks into Mom & Dad’s room and sees Dad having his way with Mom up against the dresser. Dad winks and laughs and tells little Johnny to close the door. Later, Dad hears noises from little Johnny’s room. He opens the door to see little Johnny going at grandma up against the dresser. Dad says “What are you doing, little Johnny?” Johnny answers “yeah, it’s not so funny when it’s your Mom, is it?”

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Well then!

          http://tinyurl.com/3866xb (safe)

      • Dela G

        the yanks could make the incentives very easy to reach so he could get the 10 million and make the extra 2 million or so harder to obtain?

        • Mike Pop

          True, but he might want it guaranteed.

          I would think he’s not looking to get a cheap deal again, and based from these comments…

          But he also gets the awesome attraction of playing for the team that is without a doubt going to be in it.

  • Ed

    5 rings is nice, but 6 is better. This team is ready to dominate for years, and that’s got to have appeal.

    Pettitte seems to be the most sentimental of the old 90’s guys – he’s always the one organizing the group photos of the old guys. Jeter, Posada, and Mo are all under contract for at least one more season each, so I could see him wanting to stay as long as those guys are still around.

    • Dela G

      there are probably ENTIRE TEAMS that have their entire 25 roster with less than 5 rings. I would give anything just to have one.

      My little brother has an NL Championship ring from being an astros bat boy during the world series

      • misterd

        There are entire franchises that don’t have 5 rings in their 100 year history.

    • Tank Foster

      This team is ready to dominate for years, and that’s got to have appeal.

      Kinda, but not really. Dominating for years is next to impossible. Everything has to go right. Andy knows next season could be a struggle to make the wild card.

      I think it will come down to the plain and simple question of how he feels and how much he loves competing. I don’t think he’ll pitch anywhere but for the Yankees, and I don’t think he’ll turn down any reasonable deal IF he decides he wants to pitch. He’ll definitely be offered a higher guaranteed salary than this year.

  • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

    Andy can be mad if he wants to, but it’s his fault, really. When you say you’re either going to retire or return to the Yankees, you really don’t give yourself much room for bargaining power. He has earned his keep, though, and should receive at least $10 million in 2010.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      He actually said as much last night during the post-game show interviews. He knows he backed himself into a bit of a negotiating corner by showing his Yankee-only cards too soon.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        And the problem is, you can’t really put the toothpaste back in the tube. We all know he’s not going to Houston, they’re a trainwreck. He can make overtures to LA and rejoining Torre, but I don’t buy that as truly possible either.

        He’s coming back or retiring again this offseason, just like last. The die is cast.

        • Ed

          I don’t see him leaving this year, but he had zero intention of leaving the Yankees in ’03. That offseason was all emotion – he didn’t like the way the Yankees negotiated, and his hometown team made an at the right time so he took it.

          If Cashman tries to lowball him on the guaranteed money and Joe Torre makes a phone call when Pettitte is really upset, I could see it happening. I don’t think it’s likely to play out that way, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

      • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

        What about the mystery team with the three year offer on the table?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I believe that team was Los Tigres de Quintana Roo.

          They did have a 3 year, 36M offer on the table for Andy. It was in Mexican pesos, though.

    • misterd

      It may be his fault, but he said it in good faith, not expecting it to be used as a bludgeon against him. And look how many fans were ready to toss him out with the bath water because he didn’t jump at the Yankees’ first bone!

      Hopefully fans have learned their lesson and will be a bit more understanding of Andy’s situation this off season.

      HAHAHAHAHAHA! I’m just kidding. They’ll turn on him like last month’s milk.

  • JSquared

    In the second half of the season, Andy was 6-3. 87.0 IP 78 K’s 3.31 ERA 1.20 WHIP. I like that. Come Back ANDY!!

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      That k-rate was so awesomely surprising.

      • JSquared

        Same here, Pettitte was solid down the stretch when we needed him, Yankees won all 6 games he pitched in August, including 2 games against boston.

  • Mike bk

    anyone think maybe andy is doing something similar to moose last year where he was counted out, came back and proved he could still perform at the highest level and then go out that way? especially if he gets a ring.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I hope Andy comes back for multiple reasons, but among them, the CC-AJ-Hughes-Joba-Gaudin rotation would be rife for bullpen overtaxation.

    We can’t start CC on 3 days’ rest every time, y’know…

    • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

      Agreed. They need Andy back next year.

      • Mike Pop

        Plus, quite possible our pitchers will have World Series hangovers.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I think they’d find someone else other than Gaudin for that spot.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        Yeah, but who? You’ve seen this year’s FA class, aye?

        • Mike Pop

          Schmoltz.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            That’s a good one. Almost had me for a second there, Popavero.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Yeah, I know. It’s not pretty. Considering what could be available, both in terms of talent and health, Gaudin may be the best option, simply because of the cost.

          They could do also try for a buy low trade type thing like they did for Swisher, only with a pitcher. I doubt that happens, though, and I’m not going to count on it.

          • Mike Pop

            Mark Prior.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              …not that low.

              • Alan

                I get the feeling IPK will be given the chance to fill the 6th man swing rotation/bullpen slot. If he’s healthy, that is.

  • Matt M.

    After a line of 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 6K, 1 BB on the brightest stage so far this year, this the Hendricks Brothers fighting back for the leverage that they squandered last year.

    If her turns in an adequate WS performance, his agents will be able to walk in and demand a base of 10 million (with possible incentives to raise it further) without flinching.

  • Tony

    Any thoughts that the Hammer of God might retire if they win?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I hope that doesn’t happen, because it could set off a chain of bad decisions.

    • Accent Shallow

      I think Mo has said that this contract (which expires post-2010) will be his last, although I’ve also heard talk about him continuing.

      • Ed

        Every time Mo has signed a multi-year contract, he said it was going to be his last contract.

        Back in the 90’s he used to talk about how he was going to retire in a few years and become a preacher back in Panama.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      I heard something about that last year, but wouldn’t put much stock in it. Next year might be his last, but who knows.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Mo actually retired a decade ago. The league lets him keep pitching, though.

      • misterd

        Mo’s so awesome they let him play even after they retired his number.

      • Rey22

        They decided it was worth the fancy light show and angelic choir every single time he descends from the heavens to cast his might.

      • Joe D.

        It’s only fair: Mo lets the league keep existing.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          The year after he retired, he showed up for spring training as usual. Nobody mentioned anything about the retirement, hoping that he had forgotten or that maybe the whole thing was a big Mo practical joke.

    • MikeD

      Mo wanted a four-year contract to match Posada’s, but they only gave him a three-year deal. As I said when it was signed, they will be faced with yet another extension for Rivera. They should try to sign him to a two-year extension now. It’ll be cheaper than if they wait until they end of the 2010 season. There is no evidence that Rivera is slowing down.

  • MikeD

    So riddle me this…if Pettitte wants to keep coming back on one-year contracts, why shouldn’t he demand to be paid more than A.J., and why wouldn’t the Yankees pay?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Because

      A) AJ’s slightly better, and
      B) AJ’s more than slightly younger?

      • MikeD

        AJ is younger, but there is no evidence that AJ is better.

        The younger part is totally trumped by the one-year contract that Pettitte can request. A team like the Yankees can elect to “over pay” on a one year contract, so all things being equal, they should pay Pettitte more than they’re paying AJ.

        The Yanks got a great deal this year on Andy. If I’m Pettitte’s agent, I would not let this happen again.

        • Ed

          Agreed on your analysis.

          Also, AJ’s value would be diminished by his injury history. Pettitte has been in the majors 4 seasons longer than AJ, but he’s pitched 1343 more innings (not counting postseason innings). Despite the age difference, Andy’s more likely to hold up than AJ. Especially when you’re talking 1 year versus 5.

    • Ed

      It would be reasonable for him to demand more – he was near the top of the pay scale for pitchers when he first rejoined the Yankees. Shorter commitments generally get higher average annual values.

      But the Yankees aren’t going to pay him what he’s worth unless they seriously believe he’ll play somewhere else to get a higher payday. He killed his leverage in ’03 by turning down the Red Sox offer and stating he couldn’t play for the Sox after being a Yankee. He killed his leverage last year by telling the press it was Yankees or retirement. At this point, even if the team believed he was willing to play elsewhere, they’d probably also feel he’d take less to be a Yankee.

    • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Because AJ’s salary is completely irrelevant. The only thing that’s relevant is what the Yanks, and other teams, offer to pay Pettitte. For example, if nobody offers him anything more than $10M/year the Yanks certainly don’t have to give him more than AJ makes just because Andy’s as good as AJ. The Yankees have to deal with Pettitte’s market value the same way they have to deal with any other player’s market value, not his (or any other player’s) value solely vis a vis AJ Burnett.

  • Girardi out to the mound

    I expect Cash to have a very Theo Epstein type offseason (minus the ESPN lovefest of course). They will “be in” on every big name free agent (prob just to drive up the price), but not sign any of them except for their own guys and towards the end of free agency pick up a few low risk high reward guys.

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  • Wayne’s World

    He’s got 10 fingers, though…plenty of room for more rings. When it comes down to it, these players who make noises about leaving often have the hardest time giving it up. See also: Bernie Williams.